Volume 5, Number 2, 2005
By Kasun Ubayasiri
Sri Lanka is the theatre of a three decade long bloody ‘terrorist’ conflict, where terrorist strategies and conventional battlefield tactics of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam continue to take a military and political toll on the Sri Lankan government.
The politico-military conflict waged by the Tigers in pursuit of a separate Tamil state is deeply rooted in the nationalist mindset of the Tamils and fuelled by their perception of racial oppression by a similarly nationalistic Sinhalese opponent. These nationalist mindsets have been fostered through a two millennia long lingua-cultural drift, and in the case of the Eelamist Tamils, into a separatist consciousness which has manifested into the source for a bloody conflict.
This paper attempts to outline the nature of nationalist sentiment, in an attempt to decipher the nature of the deeper consciousness which drives Sinhala and Tamil speakers to war and ultimately to death. It attempts the to better understand the role played by the so called ‘Maháwansa mindset’ and its counterpart the Sangam ideology in shaping contemporary nationalist sentiments within the Sri Lankan theatre of conflict.
By Linda Brady
Despite enjoying nearly two centuries of news media, Sri Lanka has been slow to adopt western liberalist concepts of free media, and the print medium which has been the dominant format of news has remained largely in the hands of a select few – essentially three major newspaper groups related to each other by blood or marriage.
However the arrival of television and the change in electronic media ownership laws have enabled a number of ‘independent’ actors to enter the Sri Lankan media scene. The newcomers have thus been able to challenge the traditional and incestuous bourgeois hold on media control and agenda setting.
This paper outlines the development of news media in Sri Lanka, and attempts to trace the changes in the media ownership and audience. It follows the development of media from the establishment of the first state-sanctioned newspaper to the budding FM radio stations that appear to have achieved the seemingly impossible – namely snatching media control from the Wijewardene, Senanayake, Jayawardene, Wickremasinghe, Bandaranaike bourgeoisie family nexus.
Dr Yoshiko Nakano, Hong Kong University
Elliott S. Parker, Central Michigan University, USA
Dr Philip Robertson, Central Queensland University
Jim Tully, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Dr Stephen Stockwell, Griffith University
Philip Cass, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Dr Steve Quinn, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
Ejournalist is published by ejournalism.au.com, Faculty of Informatics and Communication, Central Queensland University